comedic music performances
Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain (UOGB)
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is a group of all-singing, all-strumming Ukulele players, using instruments bought with loose change, which believes that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation, as long as they are played on the Ukulele.
A concert by the Ukulele Orchestra is a funny, virtuosic, twanging, awesome, foot-stomping obituary of rock-n-roll and melodious light entertainment featuring only the “bonsai guitar” and a menagerie of voices in a collision of post-punk performance and toe-tapping oldies. There are no drums, pianos, backing tracks or banjos, no pitch shifters or electronic trickery. Only an astonishing revelation of the rich palette of orchestration afforded by ukuleles and singing (and a bit of whistling). Audiences have a good time with the Ukulele Orchestra. Going from Tchaikovsky to Nirvana via Otis Redding and Spaghetti Western soundtracks, the Orchestra takes us on “a world tour with only hand luggage” and gives the listener “One Plucking Thing After Another”.
Using instruments small and large, in high and low registers, whether playing intricate melodies, simple tunes, or complex chords, and sitting in chamber group format dressed in formal evening wear, the Orchestra uses the limitations of the instrument to create a musical freedom as it reveals unsuspected musical insights. Both the beauty and vacuity of popular and highbrow music are highlighted, the pompous and the trivial, the moving and the amusing. Sometimes a foolish song can touch an audience more than high art; sometimes music which takes itself too seriously is revealed to be hilarious. You may never think about music in the same way once you’ve been exposed to the Ukes’ depraved musicology.
You Don't Bring Me Flowers
Ride Of the Valkyries and Silver Machine
medley and overlay: "Fly Me to the Moon", "Love Story (Where Do I Begin)", "Killing Me Softly With His Song", "Hotel California", "I Will Survive"
The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (TUKUO)
NOTE: This orchestra formed after the Ukelele Orchestra Of Great Britain (UOGB). It does not have the virtuosity, stage presence and genuine aplomb that the UOGB has, but it has some nice recordings.
They have now been touring Europe for many years, inspiring an ever newly-astonished public. For it is unbelievable, the sound that can be drawn from such small instruments.
The mere sight suggests curious things: six men, seated, dark suits and bow ties, two women in black evening dress, instruments in their laps which look like newly-hatched baby guitars. “Ukulele Orchestra” is the name of this bizarre apparition and it elicits frenetic applause from its listeners everywhere. This British orchestra stops at nothing. They play ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ by the famous Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer as well as Chic Corea’s ‘Spain’ on their bass, baritone, tenor, concert and soprano ukuleles. After the jazz they go back to Mozart, nor do they flinch from playing Fleetwood Mac or Mike Oldfield. What happens onstage is the bringing together of virtually unreconcilable pieces from every musical direction: jazz, classical, pop, rock, film scores and their own compositions. What makes the concerts so diverse is not just the professionalism of their playing on the miniature guitar but also the fact that these musicians are excellent singers at the same time and, each after their own type, very different comedians who enjoy making fun of themselves in their spoken introductions.
After several successful European tours they are returning in spring 2015; the musicians of Peter Moss’s United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra with their plucked and vocal sound, who bring the concert halls into uproar. With a typically British comedy and the amazing sound of a small instrument: the famous ukulele from Hawaii.
“Not to be missed!” judged SWR television. “The uke rocks!” said the Stuttgarter Zeitung in headlines. The Mannheimer Morgen spoke of “brilliant performances of musical cabaret”, the Allgemeine Zeitung of a “magic moment of musical comedy” and for the Heilbronner Stimme it was quite simply “great fun”.
The musicians from London, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Glasgow knew how to enthuse their audiences wherever they went. They are returning with a completely new programme and many new comic ideas, to show that anything is allowed if one has a good command of the ukulele, can also sing and, last but not least, brings an appropriate portion of British humour to the proceedings.
The experienced BBC conductor and composer Peter Moss was musical director and pianist for the world-famous ‘Rocky Horror Show’ and he served as musical director ans arranger for the Sony Prize winning ‘News Huddlines’, which was broadcast from London weekly for 27 years by the BBC. From there his role-models in British showbusiness are strongly influenced by the short character-based sketches of the famous Monty Python. In 2009 he took over the leadership of the orchestra. His arrangements and transcriptions, written specifically for this instrument, simply dissolve the borders between musical genres without any apparent effort and invite the public to join in unconstrainedly.
And after such a concert the unmistakable truth remains. The ukulele is an absolute cult! And the Brits are pretty much born “Best Comedians!”
The new programme is called “I GOT UKE BABE!”
Salut Salon redefines the conventional chamber music concert
The Salut Salon quartet, Angelika Bachmann (violin), Iris Siegfried (violin and vocals), Anne-Monika von Twardowski (piano) and Sonja Lena Schmid (cello), know better than any other chamber music ensemble how to seduce their audience with passionate virtuosity, instrumental acrobatics, charm and a great sense of fun. They combine whatever can possibly be combined with their beloved classical music: tango, chansons, folk and film soundtrack – with virtuosic solos, cabaret-style show with artistic sketches, all with effortless flair and disarming self-irony. Salut Salon perform far beyond what concert-goer would expect of a conventional chamber music concert, take aficionados of this genre by surprise and those who would otherwise never go to a classical concert, too.
Competitive Foursome, later rendition
We'll Meet Again
Axis Of Awesome
Since 2006 The Axis of Awesome have been rocking the globe with their unique brand of musical comedy. If you’ve never seen them before, you’ll soon join the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Journey and one guy from Duran Duran as lifelong fans. If you have seen them before, see them again; they are all slightly older.
Four Chord Song